Monday, October 6, 2008

Raja Petra in court facing sedition charge - Star


Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin posted a seditious article in the website on April 25, the Sessions Court heard.

Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission’s director for Security, Trust and Governance department Harme Mohamed said he could identify Raja Petra’s name and the article's date after perusing the front page of the article.

Questioned by lead prosecutor DPP Roslan Mat Nor, the first witness said he could confirm that the article was posted on the portal based on its 'domain name’ printed in the document as Malaysia Today.

However, cross-examined by lead counsel J. Chandra, Harme agreed that he did not have any evidence that showed that it was indeed Raja Petra who posted the article.

Harme, who is also the commission’s International Affairs department deputy director, admitted that the posting could be done by anyone who had access to the blogger’s user name and password.

Harme further agreed to a suggestion by Chandra that the website was very popular and accessible to people for 24 hours all around the world.

He agreed that the owner of the website or its author would not be there for 24 hours to monitor its Internet traffic due to its availability.

Questioned by Chandra, Harme said he was aware that Raja Petra had been under detention under the Internal Security Act since Sept 12.

Harme admitted to a suggestion by Chandra that there were still several postings under Raja Petra’s name in the website after his arrest.

Asked who did the postings after the blogger’s detention at the Kamunting camp, Harme said somebody else had done it and that there were others who has access to the website.

He also admitted to Chandra that an inspection report by the police’s Computer Forensic Investigation Unit did not show the posting dated April 25.

He agreed that one could literally hide in cyber space. Asked about his impression of the website, Harme said that it denounced money politics, ethnic polarisation and advocated transparency, accountability and justice.

He said that he had, since last year, been spending 15 minutes a week reading articles that appeared on the website. Questioned by DPP Farhan Read, he said that TOR (onion router) software was normally used by Internet users so that they could be anonymous in cyberspace.

Earlier, judge Rozina Ayob allowed an application by Chandra to have access to Raja Petra on courtroom on grounds that he had only met his client once after his arrest.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Raja Petra, who was hugged and kissed by his family members upon his arrival at the court premises, said he spent his time reading books at the camp.

So far, the blogger, who was brought in from the camp on Sunday, said he had read nine books.

“I read one of the books in one day. My wife (Marina Lee Abdullah ) had given me a new book on autobiography of a leader, Joe Slovo, yesterday, to read,” he said with a laugh.

On his recent 58th birthday on Sept 27, he quipped that he had a birthday cake and a girl “jumped” before him as part of the celebrations that day. Besides that, he said he had `dreams’ about the new government and plans for the people.

The hearing continues today.

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